The intention of this article is to discuss the choice of cremation vs burial and to make the decision a little easier. Burial with a coffin/ casket, or a cremation of the body are the two most frequently chosen choices. Which one is best for you depends upon cost, convenience, religious beliefs and personal choice.
Cremation vs burial rates vary according to country and location
The death of a loved one is a very emotional and stressful time. Even when the passing is expected it is not the best time to be making decisions about the disposition of your loved ones physical body. Such decisions are not easy so it is important for you to consider options beforehand.
The percentage of cremations vs burials in the United States has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 4% in 1960 to presently around 40%. The cremation rate in Canada and the UK show similar figures. Their national average rate rose from around 5% in 1970 to presently nearly 70%. Japan has one of the highest cremation rates in the world, reporting a cremation rate of 99.85% in 2010.
Many countries or cities today do not have land space available for burial of human remains. The cremation process for humans solves this problem. Burial is more common in rural areas. Local regulations must also be taken in to account when considering cremation vs burial.
Cremation vs burial costs must be taken in to account
For many the cost of a traditional burial is a tremendous burden. If you have not previously purchased burial insurance you can easily find yourself faced with a bill from the funeral home in excess of $7000. Aside from the costs for funeral services and possibly expensive casket prices (which can easily run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars) there is the added expense of “purchasing” a plot of land. This generally is an expensive venture. You are not actually purchasing the land, merely paying for “internment rights”. The cost of having the grave dug is yet another additional expense, often starting from $500. The costs for a traditional burial vs cremation can quickly add up, although there are ways to save money at the funeral home.
The option of cremation of the body after death is for many a cost effective alternative. Additional benefits include the ability to transport your loved ones ashes easily after the cremation process, for burial at a later date. A burial urn will be required but these can run for as little as $300; comparatively cheaper than a casket. You don’t even need to purchase an urn if you so wish; a funeral home will return the ashes to you in a plastic container specifically designed for cremated human remains. Ashes do not need to be buried. After seeking the necessary permissions you are free to scatter your loved ones remains any place you, or they, desire to be released. Cremation costs are significantly less than a burial.
You must consider both your own and the deceased religious beliefs and preferences for cremation vs burial
If your religious practice does not allow for cremation there may be financial assistance available. Talk with a representative from your church or religious group.
Religions that permit the cremation process for humans for humans
Ásatrú, Buddhism, Christianity (containing Baptist Church, Calvinism, Church of
England, Church of Ireland, Church of Scotland, Church in Wales, Lutheranism,
Methodism, Moravian Church, Roman Catholicism, Salvation Army, Scottish
Episcopal Church), Christian Science, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints (Mormons), Hare Krishna, Hinduism, Jainism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Liberal Judaism, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sikhs, Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalism.
Religions that forbid the cremation process for humans for humans
Bahá’í faith, Presbyterianism, Eastern Orthodox Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, Islam, Orthodox Jews.